West Palm Beach’s mayor has stamped out a proposal to dramatically raise the fire fee. This doesn’t solve the city’s budget problems, but it makes the budget a bit more honest.
Last month, the city’s finance director proposed more than tripling the fire fee – from $25 a year to $85. The hike was part of an effort to close what at the time looked to be a $8.5 million budget shortfall. We called for the city to nix this plan, and we were joined by Palm Beach County Property Appraiser Gary Nikolits. City officials, he wrote in the letter to the editor, were acting “shamelessly” by trying to hike regressive fees that hit poor residents at the same flat rate as wealthier residents.
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